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Why The Church Shouldn’t Abandon VR Technology

1

VR

For nearly 3 years I have been pastoring a Church in Virtual Reality, and in that time there have been many wins for the Kingdom of God. People have received prayer. Hard questions have been answered. Lives have been impacted for eternity.

VR ministry had a spike in interest due to COVID-19, and Churches like Life.Church launching their metaverse campus. Then in October 2021, you had the move by Mark Zuckerberg to change the name of Facebook to Meta, as a signal to the world, the metaverse was the next great frontier.

Over two years later, Meta’s VR department continues to struggle, despite the billions of dollars the dump into it. Microsoft is scaling back its VR department, cutting millions of dollars from it. Apple, now in the pre-order stage for their Apple Vision Pro, has put more focus on mixed reality rather than virtual reality. Add on top of all of that, VR headset sells were down nearly 40% in 2023.

VR technology seems to be in a downward spiral, and many churches appear to be abandoning the once popular craze. But, is it time for the Church to abandon VR?

Here is a list of 5 reasons why the Church shouldn’t abandon VR:

  1. Accessibility: Virtual reality technology provides an accessible platform for reaching individuals who may be unable to attend physical church services due to various reasons, such as health issues, geographical constraints, or other limitations. It allows for inclusivity and extends the reach of the church to a wider audience.

  2. Innovative Outreach: VR offers innovative ways to engage with people, especially those who are more tech-savvy or accustomed to digital platforms. By incorporating virtual reality into the church's strategy, it can stay relevant and connect with a tech-oriented audience.

  3. Enhanced Worship Experience: Virtual reality can enhance the worship experience by creating immersive environments for prayer, meditation, and worship. It provides an opportunity for a more profound spiritual encounter, even for those physically distant from the church premises.

  4. Training and Education: Churches can utilize virtual reality for educational purposes, such as Bible studies, evangelism training, or theological discussions. It offers an interactive and dynamic learning environment, fostering a deeper understanding of religious teachings.

  5. Adaptability to Changing Times: Embracing virtual reality demonstrates a willingness to adapt to changing technological landscapes. By staying open to new technologies, churches can remain resilient and continue to fulfill their mission in a rapidly evolving world.

Incorporating virtual reality technology allows churches to remain inclusive, innovative, and adaptable, ensuring they can connect with and serve a diverse and evolving congregation.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, there are still close to 200 million VR users who enter into the metaverse on a weekly basis. Many of whom are unaware of the good news of Jesus Christ. I strongly suggest, now is not the time for the Church to abandon VR, but determine how it can and should be incorporated to fit the mission of each individual church for the sake of advancing God’s Kingdom and reaching the lost.

What do you think? What are other reasons you have about why the Church shouldn't abandon VR?  Share your ideas below or on social media.

Interested in learning more about bringing your Church into VR? Reach out to Stuart HERE!

Through The Church Digitalwe are helping physical and digital churches better understand the discipleship process, and helping churches and church planters understand this and other decentralized mindset shifts. By taking this quick survey we can get you connect with a coach, resources and more. Also, check out our Facebook Group where we are encouraging people daily. 

 

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About Author

Stuart McPherson
Stuart McPherson

Stuart McPherson is the VR Campus pastor at Lakeland Community Church in Lake Geneva, WI. He has been in ministry for 10 years doing everything from youth to adult ministry, and now digital ministry. Additionally, Stuart also is the host of the “Stu on This” Podcast and Co-host of the “Metaverse Church” podcast. You can find out more about Stuart at StuartMcpherson.org.

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